CHINA: The Coca-Cola Co pledges US$4bn China investment
The Coca-Cola Co recorded 24% volume growth in China in Q2
The Coca-Cola Co has said that it plans to invest US$4bn with its bottling partners in China over the next three years.
The soft drinks giant said today (18 August) that the investment is part of a long-term commitment to invest in innovation, partnerships and its portfolio in China.
Coca-Cola and its bottling partners, Swire Beverages and COFCO Coca-Cola Beverage Co, have already invested $3bn in China over the last three years. This brings the total planned investment to $7bn between 2009 and 2014.
"China is one of our most important growth markets in the world as we work to achieve our 2020 Vision goal of doubling system revenues and servings this decade," said Coca-Cola's chairman and CEO, Muhtar Kent. "Besides our infrastructure and capabilities, the new investment will also focus on enhancing the consumer experience, ensuring product affordability and building brand loyalty which deliver sustainable growth."
Last month, Coca-Cola reported worldwide volume growth of 6% for the first half of 2011. China led the second quarter with volume growth of 24%. "In the first six months of 2011, sales in China topped 1bn unit cases - double the rate sold five years ago when the company first delivered 1bn unit cases for a full year," Kent said today.
"These achievements are driven by a renewed focus on core brands, continued distribution gains and expansion of cold drink equipment, all made possible by our continued investment and dedicated execution over the years," he added.
In 2009 and 2010, Coca-Cola opened five plants in China, in Urumqi, Nanchang, Wuhan, Luohe and Hohhot. This year, the firm opened a plant in Sanshui (Guandong province) and is due to open another facility in Yingkou (Liaoning province), as well as break ground on a plant in Shijiazhuang (Hebei province).
To date, Coca-Cola currently operates around 40 plants in China, employing around 48,000 staff. China accounts for 7% of Coca-Cola's annual volume sales.
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